Names of buyers deceived by Knoedler Gallery fakes disclosed

The document details museums, art dealers and private collectors who have brought charges against the gallery and its disgraced director


Victims of the fakes scandal involving the now defunct Knoedler Gallery include a museum, art dealers and major collectors, a list of buyers has revealed.

The buyers of the works include the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri, Solomon & Company Fine Art in New York and individuals in Europe and the US, including Domenico De Sole, the chairman of the Tom Ford fashion empire, and his wife Eleanore. Jack and Fran Levy of New York were repeat buyers.

The Art Newspaper has obtained the list. Among the buyers are collectors who have sued Knoedler and its former director Ann Freedman (above) for allegedly committing fraud in knowingly selling them counterfeits, charges that the gallery and Freedman deny.

The dealer who brought the works to Knoedler, Glafira Rosales, has admitted that all the works she passed to the gallery are fakes. Recent court papers include a document prepared by Knoedler that reports how much the gallery paid Rosales for each work, how much Knoedler sold it for, and to whom.

The 35 works sold were represented as being by Richard Diebenkorn, Sam Francis, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline and Clyfford Still.

The court papers show that Knoedler’s mark-ups could have been substantial. In March 2007, the gallery paid Rosales $80,000 for a Krasner (Untitled, 1949). Knoedler sold it later that month to Jay Shidler in Honolulu for $1m. The gallery bought a Rothko from Rosales for $950,000 in December 2002 and sold it two years later for $8.3m to the De Soles, who are now seeking damages. The court document provides information about 40 works, including three acquired by Freedman and her husband.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Knoedler fakes victims named'